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December 2013

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The Iranian Rapprochement Fantasy
By Clifford D. May, President, Foundation for the Defense of      Democracy
Reviewed by James L. Abrahamson, Contributing Editor

THE CRITIC: See also the review of John Gay’s argument favoring the Iranian rapprochement.

Clifford May began his critique of the forth-coming nuclear agreement with Iran by challenging its negotiator’s statement that his nation had the “right” to enrich uranium, a “’right’ that does not exist” but that the Western powers and U.S. “progressive commentators” were too fearful to challenge lest doing so might “upset Iran’s rulers.”

In May’s view any worthwhile agreement with Iran must include:

  • A “halt” to Iran’s enrichment of uranium and construction of the Arak reactor;
  • “Dismantling of centrifuges or other infrastructure of nuclear-weapons production;”
  • Surrendering “existing uranium stockpiles;”
  • Accepting “serious . . . compliance and verification measures.”

President Obama should, in addition, support the sanctions bill for the moment stalled in the Congress as a means to put further pressure on Iran to submit.

With reference to leading Iranian spokesmen and their nation’s past behavior, May makes the argument that Iran must not be trusted to possess nuclear materials. Its leaders have called for Israel’s destruction as a “cancer [that] should be cut out.” Iran’s past and current support for terrorism, its evident intent to become the hegemon of the Middle East, its “despotic” rule at home, and its president’s proclamation of “Death to America” provide additional justifications for demanding Iran’s total nuclear disarmament.

Those who oppose a strong agreement, one with features like those May listed above, should at least, he argues, be willing to engage in an “informed and lively discussion” of the deal being offered Iran. Ad hominem denigration of the deal’s critics is not a worthy or useful line of argument, especially when facing so dangerous an opponent.bluestar

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